MUMBAI: The hit-and-run case in which actor Salman Khan stands accused for culpable homicide took another twist on Thursday when Mumbai police informed the Sessions Court that the case diaries in this matter were also missing in addition to original statements of some of the witnesses.
This is for the first time that the police have accepted that the case diaries were missing. Earlier, they had maintained that original statements of seven out of 63 witnesses were missing, but their true copies were available.
The court expressed unhappiness with the police’s submission and gave them ultimatum to locate the papers by September 12. A case diary is a document which registers time, location as well as names of victims and accused in any crime.
Salman’s lawyer Shrikant Shivade argued that original papers were required to be produced before the trial court as per the law. The prosecution informed the court that original papers were kept in a Magistrate’s Court where the trial was held since 2001.
However, since the trial was recently shifted from the Magistrate’s Court to Sessions Court after the charge of culpable homicide was added the original papers and case diaries were not traceable.
Judge D W Deshpande asked the police to come prepared with their line of action on next hearing.
The court would then verify what documents they have and what are in the possession of the accused to decide whether it will be appropriate to carry on with the trial. The Judge has asked the then investigating officer Kishan Shengal to appear in person on September 12 and throw light on the missing papers.
The Magistrate Court had invoked charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against Salman midway through the hearing. The Sessions Court on December 5, 2013, had ordered a fresh trial in the case on the ground that witnesses had not been examined in the context of aggravated charge.